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Colombia 12-month inflation to hit 11.25% in September, bring more rate rises

FILE PHOTO: A man walks through the Paloquemao market square in Bogota

By Nelson Bocanegra

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Inflation in Colombia will have risen once again in September, sending full-year expectations for 2022 and 2023 upward and pressuring the central bank to extend rate rises beyond previous predictions, analysts said in a Thursday survey.

The sixteen analysts consulted gave a median estimate of 0.74% for September price rises, nearly double that of the same month last year, though the projection is below the 1.02% increase in August.

Analysts' estimates ranged between 0.50% and 1%.

If the expectation is met, annual inflation will be 11.25% in the 12 months to September, higher than the 10.84% recorded in August and nearly four times the bank's long-term 3% target.

"Inflationary pressures continue generally and what that has created is a bigger imbalance in the expectations for different timelines," said Gustavo Acero, analyst at Banco de Bogota.

"The economy has an important momentum, with a dynamic for the third quarter that is above what was projected, which shows the strength of demand, and inflation pressures detach from there," he added.

The DANE statistics agency will publish inflation figures on Oct. 5.

Inflation predictions for the year were up to 11.42%, from a 10.10% in last month's survey.

Projections for the close of 2023 were 6.33%, above the 5.9% in the August survey.

Analysts predict the country's central bank - which is likely to raise its benchmark interest rate by either 100 or 150 basis points in a Thursday meeting - will take the rate to 11% before the end of a rate rise cycle begun last year.

(Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Alistair Bell)